Program Questions

  1. What is EXPLORERS? This innovative program employs creativity to engage young people in grades K-8 in the study of health and wellness. Through this interdisciplinary initiative, Cleveland Clinic medical professionals speak to area art classes on important health issues, and the students then bring their newfound knowledge to life through creative interpretations. In addition to helping students achieve optimal health, the program promotes critical thinking, innovation, communication, and self-esteem, and gives teachers the opportunity to earn graduate-level college credits.
  2. What are the criteria to participate? The program is available to all students in grades K through 8; in order for a student to participate, though, one of the student's teachers must first register for the program. Only submissions from students whose teachers have officially enrolled in the program will be accepted for review.
  3. When does the EXPLORERS program take place? The EXPLORERS program takes place the second half of the school year; the teacher registration deadline, though, is in the fall of the school year.
  4. As a teacher, how do I register for the program? To register for the program, teachers must visit EXPLORERS and complete the online Teacher Registration Form by October 15
  5. Are there any fees involved with participation in EXPLORERS? There are no fees to participate.
  6. My teachers don't know about EXPLORERS. Who can they contact to learn about the program? First ask your teachers to visit If they still have questions after reviewing the online information, they can email Bryan Pflaum at

Process Questions

  1. How does it work? When teachers enroll in the program in the fall, they will be asked to select one of 10 health topics, and to indicate a one-hour time slot the last three weeks in January. This is when a medical professional from Cleveland Clinic will speak to the teacher's class about the designated health topic. After this health workshop, students will work with their teacher to bring their newfound knowledge of the topic to life through creative interpretations.
  2. If I missed the teacher registration deadline and didn't schedule an in-class presentation for January, is it still possible for my students to participate? Yes, you and your students can still participate. Your students can participate in a virtual EXPLORERS workshop and can then create artistic or literary interpretations of what they learned.
  3. What are the criteria for submission? A complete list of submission criteria is available at the beginning of the Online Submission Form.
  4. What is the submission deadline for EXPLORERS? The submission deadline for the EXPLORERS program is around the middle of March each year. See the Online Submission Form for the current year's exact deadline date.
  5. Is this a competition? Yes. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges.
  6. Who are the judges and what criteria do they use? Submissions are judged by an esteemed panel of professional artists, art educators, editors and writers, media production professionals, and healthcare professionals. All work submitted to Cleveland Clinic through the Cleveland Clinic EXPLORERS program will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    • Interpretation
      • How effectively does the work communicate one or more of the key issues surrounding the health topic?
    • Presentation
      • What level of proficiency is demonstrated?
    • Creativity
      • How innovative is the student's submission?
    • Initiative
      • How much effort did the artist put into the project?
  7. What do winners get? Selected pieces will receive a ribbon award. Each blue-ribbon winner will receive $50, each red-ribbon winner will receive $40, and each white-ribbon winner will receive $30. Ribbon-winning work will be featured in a publication of all the award-winning submissions, and will also be included in the annual EXPLORERS Exhibition, which will open with a reception and dedication at the end of May. In addition, all teachers who mentor an award-winning student will receive a $100 educational grant.
  8. Is there a specific artistic medium that has to be used for submissions? No. Students are free to choose whatever medium they prefer. Teachers and students should keep in mind, however, that they will be responsible for shipping or delivering the actual work to Cleveland Clinic in the event the piece is selected for inclusion in the EXPLORERS Exhibition.
  9. Can I submit multiple pieces? A student may submit more than one piece. Each submission, though, requires the completion of a separate submission form.
  10. Will students get their artwork back, and if so, when? Award-winning students will get their original work back after the exhibition, at the end of summer.